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Thread: Childminder or Nursery

  1. #1
    Registered User Cass's Avatar
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    Childminder or Nursery

    As the subject says really..... Does/did your child go to a childminder or a nursery/pre-school?

    DD (just turned 3) and has been going to pre-school a few times a week for 4 months. It took her a while to settle, but she enjoys it now. She loves having friends and doing crafty things. They have forest school one morning a week and all the staff say that's when she's happiest.

    Anyway. I've just gone and got a job, and it's 2 full days a week. My pre-school only opens until 4 and is closed during holidays.

    So I've 3 options -

    1) find a childminder who can take her to & from nursery and look after her until I'm home, and full days during holidays.

    2) find a childminder to look after her with no pre-school

    3) find a day nursery that has all day/all year opening hours.

    None of these options are proving easy by the way. I never knew how difficult it would be to get back to work. I've contacted numerous childminders and nurseries, and none have spaces. I'm needing to widen my search criteria, but this is why I'm considering the benefits of a childminder over a day nursery.

    I'd really appreciate your thoughts/experiences.

    Thanks




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  2. #2
    If she's settled and it took a while to settle in, I'd keep the current arrangement & get a childminder to take & collect personally x


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  3. #3
    I used both with Jessica and the childminder won hands down. She started with the childminder (husband and wife team) when she was 3 and left when I was made redundant aged 4 and 3/4. I'm still friends with her childminders now (she's 8 now), they made such a positive impact on Jessica and until they moved recently they invited her for dinner every so often (even when they stopped childminding).

    I was inspired by them to childmind myself (with DH) and have been minding since 2015.

    There's pros and cons to all the scenarios you've suggested and some children are better suited to different settings (I send my own son to pre school 3 days a week!)

    You might struggle to get a childminder to just pick and collect as it limits the children we can have a day as we have such small ratios (1:3 for under 5s). Or you might find a childminder will do it but still charge you (to hold the place) whilst she is at pre school.

    Childminders, nurseries and pre schools all have to deliver the same curriculum and are inspected in the same way and on the same outcomes so there's no inherent value in choosing one over the other - it's all about what works for you and DD. Childminders will almost always be more flexible. I don't offer funding because I can't afford to lose money offering 'free' hours but some childminders do (and the rates vary from county to county so you might be somewhere where childminders actually do better out of funding so will happily offer it! 😂 ) Funding and the 30 hours is something I'm spending a lot of time talking about at the moment as it's an awful state of affairs and come September is going to get a lot worse but that's for another post.

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  4. #4
    i would use a childminder for the 2 days you work and send her to preschool on the days you dont work. or use a childminder to take her to preschool. i think im too far from you, but happy to help if i can. x


  5. #5
    Registered User Cass's Avatar
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    Thanks Dannii. That's what I'm trying to do, but it's so hard to find a childminder who will do it. The only one I found so far only works term time.

    Julie thanks for that. Do you have any 3 year olds? I worry she'll be the oldest there. We have funding and I'll need to use it, or there'll be no point working at all.

    Thanks Kazzie. I think I'll still be able to send her to the pre school for 1 session. Yes I think you are too far, I might pay for a month on childcare.co.uk and see if anyone can help.


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  6. #6
    Registered User Kidston's Avatar
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    Call your councils family information department. Ours has a list of all childminders, their availability and hours etc. Maybe yours will do something similar? X

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  7. #7
    Registered User Cass's Avatar
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    Yes mine does too and I've contacted them all, but no-one can help


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  8. #8
    pm me the people you want to contact on childcare and ill see if they have their emails or phone numbers available for you to contact. also you can create a profile for free so childminders can contact you.


  9. #9
    I only have experience of a childminder so I am probably bias.

    Choosing my childminder was the best decision I ever made for my children. DD has been with my childminder since she was 9 months and she is now 4.5. We choose to keep her there instead of moving her to preschool. DS has been there for almost a year and he loves it to. My childminder does take the funding so that made the decision easier but I think even without it I would keep both of mine with her. xx

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  10. #10
    No, I focus on under 3s now (all my mindees are under 2 at the moment). I emailed my MP earlier this week actually though forwarding a copy of a legal challenge that has just been made against the government's funding strategy and a covering letter explaining how I'd love to help parents with funding but as it stands I would lose 1,197 a year based on 3 funded children on the 15 hours rising to 2,394 when the 30 hours comes in - which clearly isn't realistic (ignoring the extra work funding entails, not being paid monthly, not being paid for holidays, working for 0 if a child leaves before headcount day etc). The funding rates are fixed until 2020 so the gap is going to get bigger. 😐

    I've had 3/4 year olds part time (and they've done longer funded days elsewhere- I don't offer wraparound care) and I had one child for the whole year before he started school as his parents were happier paying me than using funded hours elsewhere.

    I'd create a free profile on childcare like Kazzie suggests. I have gold membership even though I don't have any anticipated spaces until September 2018 and you can message gold members for free.

    I do think one of the pros of a childminder is having a range of ages though so I wouldn't worry about her being the oldest (if that even is the case). I do miss the pre schoolers but it's not financially worthwhile for me to have them with the 30 hours coming and minding being our sole income.

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  11. #11
    Just for an opposing view: I've sent both of mine to a nursery. Thomas went from 9m to 3y and peter had been there since he was 6m. I debated long and hard between nurseries and childminders, especially as I believe childminders are more flexible but I liked the idea that in a nursery there were multiple adults around and so (not meaning anything against you Julie, or anyone else that childminds) there was less chance that anything untoward would happen. I'd also had a local nursery recommended by a few people whereas I didn't have any recommendations for childminders.

    I'm so happy that we've sent both the boys there. The staff are wonderful and they do lovely activities with them. I toured a few nurseries before deciding and didn't get the same feeling off the others but as soon as I went into this one I knew it was the place I wanted to send TT.

    Sorry rambling now!


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  12. #12
    Registered User Cass's Avatar
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    Thanks Kazzie, but I think I've found one! She doesn't go to my nursery, but it sounds like she has loads going on at her house. Also I could maybe look at moving DD to the nursery she does go to (which is full until September )

    Thank you MF. Those are the stories I want to hear.

    Julie the funding sounds so confusing.

    Thanks Claree - completely understand about getting the right feeling for the place. Great childcare can be like gold dust!


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